Friday, July 24, 2009

Glutton for punishment!

Well, it's been a bit of a week so far. Busy at work, which is a good thing. With all of this talk of recession, the increase in construction and construction type projects, doesn't appear to have been affected too much. Not necessarily new construction, but renovations of existing buildings, apartments and shopping plazas. A lot of the contractors coming in looking for drawings, all seem to have their hands in the mix trying to keep their crews working. So, whether they are willing to take on jobs for less or whether companies have really held tight to the purse strings there is a lot going on in our area. Believe it or not, one of the most steady increases has been the construction of churches of various denominations. Mind you, they start out with lofty ideas until the pricing comes in then, as the saying goes, it's back to the drawing board. Even a lot of the long existing fast food restaurants are in the midst of trying to revamp their tired looks. Desperately trying to bring in new clientele with upgraded looks and healthier menus. Whatever works I guess.

Next week end we have a long weekend here in Ontario. Some bogus holiday just to throw another long weekend into the summer. I'm not going to turn it down if that's what you're thinking. It just irks me the wrong way that we still don't have a day to represent those who have lost their lives serving our country. That's Canadian Government for ya. Anyways, I'm also thinking of taking next Friday off as well extending the weekend by a day. My plan is to go camping for those few days and get away from computers, cell phones and politics amongst other things. I have an area in mind which is about 70-75 kilometers away from here. Which, in driving terms, is not very far at all. So, I'm going to make it a little more difficult and ride my bike there instead. I've been working on that this week. Riding a 30km route I mapped out on the computer a couple of times this week. Have I mentioned how hilly our area is around here? That's because when you are in a car, you don't notice such things.

On Tuesday night, when I first set out on this little adventure, I questioned my sanity with every revolution of the peddles. When I began the first big climb, my main concern was to not stroke out halfway up the hill. When I was about three quarters of the way up, two young college aged girls, passed me with ease. I continued my steady cadence and was not about to try any macho shit. This, I was doing for me and had nothing to prove. Reaching the top was a small victory in itself. If I had known what was in store after that, I would have turned the bike around and coasted down the hill and headed home. But, being pig-headed, I continued on. The rest of the roadway undulated but not as sever as the first hill. By the time the first small town of Ste. Agathe was coming up, I was right back on the wheels of the girls who passed me. That was about the 14km mark and I needed some water so I stopped for about 5 minutes and the youngsters kept on riding at the first turn.

The next 4-5km stretch of road was relatively flat but was being prepared for re-surfacing. It was covered in a combination of loose gravel and sand and was not really compacted well. Which almost caused me to wipe out a couple of times. However, I persevered and made it to the next small town where I would make my turn and head back for home. That is when I got my first look at the monster. The first hill I climbed seemed like a baby compared to this brute. I wondered if I would make it or if I would have to dismount and walk it. Well, steady up I went, never focusing more than 20 meters ahead at one time. Not wanting to look up until I was sure I was nearing the apex. Again, I made it and figured the worst was over. But alas, it was not to be. There was one final nightmare. Not because of it's steepness, but because every time you thought you made it to the top, it stepped up just a little higher. There were about 4 or 5 steps before it leveled out.

Once the hills were out of the way, I only had to contend with the wind which began blowing right across my path. The good news was, I was only about 8km's from home. And I knew I could do with my eyes closed. I kept them open of course, just to be on the safe side. Coming up that long last hill though, I could feel my calf muscle start to cramp up and my fingers, (amongst other things) begin to go numb. Would I be able to do this with a full back pack of gear on? I guess we will see. The fact that I am writing this and somebody out there may be reading this, tells you that I made it. Now 30km's may not seem like a lot to some people but it was a good first stretch for me. I was happy when I got home, looked at my watch and found I managed to do the ride in 1 ½ hours. On the week end I plan on extending the ride by about another 20km's to 50km's and if that goes well, then I will decide whether I want to bike to that camping trip or wimp out and drive. I'm into the last month before hitting the big five-o. So, needless to say, I have some motivation for wanting to do this.

Anyways, I guess I have been a bit of a slackard in the blogging world this week. But I have had a lot on my mind, a lot on my plate and a lot to work on but I will definitely catch up.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

All That Jazz

Okay, this is going to be one of the most difficult posts I will ever have to write. Reason being, how in the hell do you describe the music I heard without letting you hear it all too. Blogger has to come up with a way for us to upload our own music. Anyways, what a week end! Beginning to end, the week end was filled with some really great Jazz from mostly Canadian Jazz musicians. Including an expat American, Tim Louis, who became a Canadian citizen and now lives in our neck of the woods. Also included in this week ends line-up was a group called Zapati Jazz who came all the way here from Chile. On top of all the music, I accidentily found out we were having a Rib and Beer Fest. This little shindig was only about 10 minutes away so I figured I would have to go pay that venue a little visit too. After all, a man has to eat from time to time. Needless to say, both events were just filled to capacity with people, young and old, enjoying themselves immensely.

Now, I'm trying something a little different here with the pics. Just an idea I stole, I mean borrowed from Lori over at My Life Interupted. It's kind of a slide show as opposed to me waiting for three days to upload some of what I took. I'm not sure if you can stop the thing and enlarge the pics. So, we'll see how that works. There were 12 acts over the three days and I was able to catch 8 of those. Luckily for everybody involved, the weather kind of co-operated a little. It was cool and windy but the sun stuck around most of the time. Don't mind me if I'm a little all over the place. I'm still trying to run everything through my head.

The event started on Friday night around 6pm and was led off by Carol McCartney (no relation to Paul). I even managed to score an autogrphed copy of her latest CD. Carol performs mostly in Canada and the United States so if she is coming to your town any time soon, go check out her music. Next up was the only international group in the line-up; Zapatti Jazz. Only one way to describe these guys and that is UNBELIEVABLE! They have been around since 2004 coming out of Puerto Varas, Chile. I don't think one of them is even close to 30 years old yet. They stunned the audience which encouraged them to a well deserved encore. And closing out Friday's soiree, was Chris Smith who is up against the likes of Michael Buble and Diana Krall for the 2009 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards.

On Saturday, I spent a few hours at the Rib Fest, feeding my face and running into a few familiar faces in the crowd. Then I headed back across town to continue with the music infusion. Apparently I missed some pretty damned good acts earlier. Including, The Toronto All-Star Band, Andriy Tykhonov and Julie Crochetière who apparently put on quite a show. I did make it back in time to catch Tim Louis, whom I mentioned above. You want to talk about a prestigious career. This guy has performed for Bill Clinto, Jean Chrètien and Prince Andrew. And here he was, performing for all of us and we didn't pay a dime. Although I am sure somebody was footing the bill for this. I found a clip on YouTube of Tim performing at a nearby club, The Rude Native where he performs regularly. I hope it shows up and enjoy it if it does.

Now, fortunately we were not required to vote on any of the acts because this next artist, Divine Brown, would have had my vote hands down. More of an R&B/Soul singer, this young woman literally moved the audience to tears with her performance. Surrounded by her back up singers and dancers, she didn't miss a beat as she had people both dancing in the aisles and in their seats. When she sang 'One More Chance', from her 2008 release, 'The Love Chronicles', she was barely able to choke out the last of the lyrics before breaking down in tears. I'm sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house after that perormance. Ms. Brown rebounded quickly and again had the audience eating out of the palm of her hands. This was indeed a huge surprise to me. Sadly, when I went to purchase her CD, they had already sold out. Of course that didn,t stop me from ordering it online when I got home:) Aside from the YouTube clips, you can hear more of her music here.

Rounding out last nights performances was Michael Kaeshammer who dazzled us with his incredible ability behind the piano. In Michael's bio he is quoted as saying, "being onstage is about hanging out with people, having a conversation. I just love it. I don't want my audience to all be jazz fans or piano fans. I want people who want to hang out with me. You can really open yourself up onstage, and that's like a high for me." Well, believe me, he was very successful because nobody moved from their seats to leave while he played. Incredible music.

And finally, today I managed to catch the final two acts of the week ends performances. Two completely different styles if I ever saw one. The John Sherwood Trio consisted of Terry Clarke on drums, Dave young who used to play with Canadian Legend Oscar Peterson and John Sherwood who just so happened to have arranged the latest CD by Carol McCartney (still no relation to Paul) who started this whole week end off. You can tell these guys have played together forever the way they just lulled you into a blissful sunny Sunday afternoon. Last but not least were a collection of former street perfomers collectively known as The Shuffle Demons. Giving the crowd a tast of what was to come, they snaked their way thru the crowd getting everybody's heart rates up. They didn't stop once they returned to the stage keeping the audience captivated right to the final note of this years very successful festival.

So uh; I guess I had a busy week end to say the least. Hope you all had a great week end yourselves!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shoe Box Memories

Shoe boxes. You know, those cardboard containers that held a new pair of footwear. Dress shoes, runners or casual. It didn't really matter to me. Once the shoes were out of the box, it was the box that I hung onto. Some years ago, I developed a habit of tossing this and that into those boxes. When they were full, up into a closet they went. I know that some contain things that I emptied out of my pockets onto the entry shelf. Or clutter that built up on my desk and I wasn't sure I wanted to get rid of. So, into the boxes they went. Old scorecards, tees, golf balls, notes and Lord knows what other things you may find in some of the early ones. From time to time, I may be looking for something and think I may have dumped it in one of those boxes. I will haul a couple of them down for a look see and rummage through them hoping to find what it was I was searching for. Sometimes with luck, sometimes without.

After awhile, I started bringing home the boxes that printer paper comes in. I began storing books that I have read or others that were just cluttering up my space. Some of the boxes contained vacation memories. Where I went, postcards , itineraries, plane tickets and those tourist pamphlets. These too, found there way into a closet or storage cupboard. Subconsciously, I had a feeling I knew what I was doing. I was creating little time capsules of my life. Why I was, or rather am doing this, may or may not be a mystery. It is almost like I am telling stories of my life based on the contents of the box. What I was doing, where I was or people that passed through my life. It has become a comfortable habit which you may think a little strange. But to me, they are tidbits of my existence.

Of the three boxes that are shown at the top of this piece, the contents of the top box are shown above. This is the one box that never gets put away. There are some black and white memories of my mother. Her death certificate. Notes from the hotel where I was making funeral arrangements. If you look closely, you can see the odd picture of me taken when I was much younger and skinnier. Right on the top of the pile, a couple of memories from the first foster home we were guests at. There are no pictures from the second one. The tiny picture in the oval frame is the only baby picture I have of me. This photo was on my mother's bedside table in her apartment. There are some coloured Polaroids of the famous Christmas boot incident. Just a collection of odds and sods really of the early part of my life's journey. I don't know how I came to have this collection but I do know that they are one of a kind which is probably why I keep them close by.

For years I've gone places and done things without bothering to record the events. Relying on my memory. Whenever I did take pictures, the undeveloped films sat around until they could no longer be processed obliterating the memories. There are probably other undeveloped film in some of those buried boxes amongst other pieces of my past life. Who knows. In the past few years, I no longer take events of my life as trivial. Of course, it is a lot easier with a digital camera and now I rarely go anywhere without it. Whether or not I decide to through these boxes remains to be seen. It would probably be a smart thing to do at some point if only to satisfy my own curiosity. A sad thought runs through my mind as I think about the contents of those boxes though. Is that after I die, those who come in to clean out my home believe that those boxes contain nothing but junk and toss them out without giving them another thought.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited a blog called Poetic Painter who had written a poem sometime back. The poem was called Inside the Boxes and was written in memory of their Grandmother. This poem is well worth a read. This piece told me that I was not alone in the performance of this unusual practice. Now I feel just a little less weird. Oh joy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

...but not forgotten!

Earlier today, I went to a Memorial gathering for a friend of mine who passed away on Thursday . I first spoke of this friend, Murray, in an earlier post called, Yesterday's Memories. Murray was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease but actually succumbed to heart failure. He would have been 80 years young in September. In speaking with his wife of 55 years, she said it was better for him to go now than to continue to endure the horrors of this dreaded disease. I couldn't have agreed more. There are a few things on my mind here tonight as I sit and reflect on some of the days events. One of them is Murray himself and the various passions and interests he held onto throughout his life. One of the smartest people I knew, Murray graduated as a Civil Engineer back in 1952. As a Consulting Engineer, Murray's stamp is on many of Southern Ontario's municipal projects. He was also involved in some of our community's largest civil infrastructure projects of his time.

Outside of his professional duties, Murray had a diverse range of interests from music, engineering, Canadian History and his love of gardening. Not to mention his close relationships he had with his dogs over the years. Believe me, Murray never failed to mention Odie and Annie every chance he got. I never really knew Murray as a family man as I only met him about 14 years ago. I met a couple of his children a couple of years ago at a small birthday celebration we had for him. There was something definitely lacking that was not hard to notice. Over the years, we did speak about that part of his life and there were regrets. A lot of them. But that is not my story to tell. That is his family's story. However there are things that I do know, especially in the past three years that I can tell you. Up until three years ago there was a lot of bitterness about the relationship between Murray and his family.

Today, when I had an opportunity to speak with his wife, 3 daughters and his son, I was pleasantly surprised that they did not try to cover up that part of Murray. If you can understand that. Most of the time, when a loved one passes away, those dark things are usually buried with the person. And, in a way, it was refreshing to hear this honesty coming from them. I also don't think they wanted to hear what a really nice guy he was because they had a different story. But Murray knew he was a difficult man and he never failed to reveal that to me. For years, there was a lot of bitterness and finger pointing about things long past but all I was getting was one side of the picture. With my history, I knew that there were two side to every story and didn't really need to hear the other side to know what was going on. But as I said, about three years ago, something began to happen.

Murray, in his own way, never forgot about the professional privileges he once held. And so, when Murray spoke, you listened. But suddenly, Murray shut up and began listening. Not just to me but to others around him and I think this started to have a dramatic affect on his consciousness. He started coming back with stories of reconciliation with his son and daughters. Albeit small stories but there was hope. Gradually they became more of a regular part of his repertoire and there was also a lot less anger. Today, hearing what they had to say, I had an opportunity to tell them what I had witnessed over the past three years. They were pleasantly surprised to hear what I had to tell them and I could see the pained and puzzled look on their faces. I also spoke to Murray's Daughter-in-law who filled me in on the impact the estranged relationship that was there between father and son over the years. When I told her of the stories of love and pride Murray shared with me about his children, she began to cry which naturally brought tears immediately to my eyes. All I can hope for is that they can now relinquish the pain that is embedded in their hearts and move on with their lives.
Another thing that was on my mind today which in a way has a link to the above, is a post I read by Rosaria of sixtyifvewhatnow. Rosaria is planning on a few posts as a kind of mentoring program into what we can look forward to as we get older. It would be interesting if we can all get involved. As for the Alzheimer's Disease, it is probably my least favourite of all diseases. I'm not a fan of any diseases to be honest with you, but this one just freaks me out with what it does to a human being. An estimated 26.6 million people worldwide had Alzheimer's in 2006; this number may quadruple by 2050.! With most diseases, you have some kind of a fighting chance, with this one, it's only a matter of time before you succumb to it. If we can share the knowledge of what to look for, not only with this disease but other disease that we can look forward to as we age. I guess what I am suggesting here is that you follow Rosaria's blog and get involved in a little Participaction!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bogey Bites

As some of you may have noticed, I have changed the word COMMENTS, in the comments box to “Bogey Bites”. I was looking for something with a little more humour and a little less of a reminder of what it was like to read what your High School Teachers had to say about you. Whatever! It works for me and I like it. Anyways, the reason for this post is kind of a follow up to comments I started to make on Audrey's Blog, Stage 3! Who, me? In her post, which of course you can read for yourself here. And before I go on, I just want to clarify one thing. This in no way is a judgment of Audrey or her Blog. I was in the process of commenting on her most recent post, when I realized something. I was approaching post length in my comment, felt I had something to say that would have taken away from Audrey's post and also had my own thoughts on Followers and Blog Comments. So, I politely let Audrey know of my intention and so, there you have it. Now, back to the regularly scheduled post.

Like a lot of Bloggers, I started out with a little apprehension. I kind of just tip toed around with no real agenda of what it was I was going to write about and most of the time, I still don't. I began reading a lot of Blogs, commenting on some while just passing through on others. To be honest, I was unsure of whether I would find an audience let alone keep them around for any length of time. Mind you, it has only been 3 months since I have started this so didn't really know what to expect. Very early on, there were only a small handful of bloggers who came to become “Followers” and we basically followed each other. And, I am honoured to say, that they are still all followers. The biggest spike came when I wrote about the loss of a friends pet, and Natalie sent out a “Mourning Call”. A few more people became followers and to date, most have them continue to tag along for which, of course, I am grateful. It just means that somebody is reading this stuff and it makes me feel good when I do get comments.

Like Audrey, I take a personal interest in the Blogging Community in which I have become a part of. Reading and commenting if and when I can. Actually, I am intentionally trying to ensure that what I do here is manageable because I feel I owe something in return to the people who have followed me. But to me, it is a debt that I will gladly pay. Compared to a lot of the people who do visit here, I have a small family of friends and feel very comfortable adding as I go along. When I do visit my fellow bloggers, I try and take special care in the comment that I do leave behind. And this I do for a number of reasons. First of all, many of you take a lot of care putting together your posts. I think it would be unfair of me to hit and run just to say I left a comment. And so, I give you and your post the respect that is due. Sometimes, I may read a post and have to leave it just so I can digest what I have read before I even leave a comment. I like that you can make me think and feel like that. To explore your words on another level of consciousness. But I always come back and comment.

Being an emotional person by nature, it has been refreshing to allow myself to feel when something I read squeezes my heart. I did not always do this because I have repressed a lot of these emotions for years. Now, I have an opportunity to connect with those feelings reading your words that often mirror images that I have lived. In a way, it has been comforting, in a sense, to know that there are many more of you who have lived lives whereby we can connect with each other. Offering compassion, empathy and understanding if only for a little while. Of course I realize not everybody likes to read these types of melancholy stories. Your reasons are your own and explanations are not necessary. Suffice it to say, when I read your blogs I can go through a myriad of emotions in a very short time.

There are some bloggers that I know I can go to and get a laugh or a chuckle almost every single time. And sometimes, that can leave me smiling for hours or cause me to silently chuckle in the middle of the day. Leaving those around me scratching their collective heads wondering what is so funny. Ah! My little secret. Then there are those of you who fill my memory banks with your treasured and historic surroundings via the lens of your cameras and your eagle sharp eyes. Your photos often leave me spell bounded by the magnificence of your imagery. Speaking of imagery, how can I not mention the artists amongst you. Those of you who mix paints or pastels, pencils or charcoal with your creative souls and transfer your emotions onto the blank canvases that lay in front of you. Truly awe inspiring.

And then, of course, there are those of you who can wax lyrical either with your words of wisdom, guidance or even poetry. There is so much creativity in Blog Land it is really hard to put it into the proper context it deserves. Your words can touch my soul, tickle my funny bone and educate me all within a span of minutes. They all remind me of my humanness and my capacity to feel and to shed a tear or to smile and bust a gut laughing. So why would I not want to read and view all that you have to offer and to leave you with a small, yet genuine token of my heartfelt appreciation. Believe me, it is the least that I can do. I've enjoyed traveling across this world and seeing familiar faces in familiar places. Made familiar by the warmth and acceptance of all of our Blog friends.

Now, as for receiving comments, who amongst us can say that they don't have a little smile in their heart when they know somebody took the time to stop by and leave a little token of their appreciation. I know I do. Which is also why I try to acknowledge each received comment with a little note of thanks. Here is how I view seeing comments in the Bogey Bites box. Some of you may remember this a little bit more than others. Have you ever had a pen pal or a friend who moved away and you used to keep in touch solely by snail mail? When you came home from school or work to find an envelope addressed to you waiting for you to tear into. For your eyes only. How you used to treasure those moments anxious to open it there and then but waited until you were in the privacy of your bedroom. Well that is kind of what it feels like when I see that somebody dropped off a Bogey Bite. And I am always happy to see my familiar friends as well as new ones who have just dropped by.
I just had this thought, I wonder how many people have dropped by, took one look at this blog, thought it would all be about Golf and high tailed it out of here. Too bad I say. They wouldn't get an opportunity to meet all of you! Cheers all and have a happy Friday!

Oh! Almost forgot, Doctor told me I may be suffering from CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). May? What the hell does that mean? More tests required of course and I wish that I could say that I've been feeling better but nope. Just pacing myself a little for now. Of course, now I need to do some research on this because any Doctor that tells me that I “may” be suffering from anything obviously isn't interested in finding out for me! Hmmphh!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Love My Friends

Recently, Cynthia of “Oasis Writing Link (OWL)” graciously honoured me with the Love My Friends award. According to Cynthia, this award “is bestowed onto blogs that are exceedingly charming.” Really, charming! Well, not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth.....I'll take it. Thank you very kindly Cynthia, this is really appreciated. I don't recall how I found my way to OWL, but when I did, I had the hardest time staying on the site. For some reason or another, it kept booting me off and shutting down. However, I remained patient and eventually things worked themselves out and I haven't had any trouble since. And I am happy I have stuck around. Now if you like to think, this is the place to visit. Cynthia does not blog on a daily basis and therefore puts a lot of time, effort, thought and variety into all of her posts. Thus, captivatingly pulling you in, compelling you to think outside your safe zone and at an emotional level we generally don't often visit without some kind of encouragement. Cynthia has a magical way of weaving a combination of poetry, music and film into all of her posts, creatively emphasizing her own personal thoughts, ideas and true life experiences. Needless to say, I encourage all who drop by here today to visit the Oasis Writing Link and introduce yourself to Cynthia. You will all be glad you did. Thanks again Cynthia! It's nice to be thought of as a friend!
First, I would like to acknowledge that not all of my Blog Friends accept or post awards on their sites. And to me that is fair. However, it does not prevent me from mentioning them as people whom I choose to call friend and whose Blogs I enjoy immensely and am sure some of you would like as well. I also know that they, in return, accept the gesture in the spirit in which it was given.
Now the instructions for this award were to; “Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly written text into the body of their award.”
These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers, photographers poets, humourists and smart a**es. So, in no particular order, they are;

And, like Cynthia, I am adding an additional 2 selections. Though they don't do awards, I do want to say that they are friendly Bloggers. The fact that they are both Canadian is just fluke.

Cheers to you all and Happy Blogging!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Brand Power! Can we afford not to?

I'm kind of particular when shopping for certain items, especially grooming aids. And if the stores I am shopping in don't have the product I need, I will go elsewhere instead of buying something else. Call me fussy if you like, (anything else you can keep to yourself) but I like what I like. Besides, they match. As you can see from the above photo, they are all Gillette products as well. Except for the Colgate Toothpaste, (also blue) which leaves my mouth minty fresh and my favourite smelly stuff from Yves Saint Laurent. Which, of course, attracts every insect on God's green earth. You ever try making a putt for bogey with gnats swirling around your head; not fun. And just so you know, I didn't even get paid to push this stuff. Imagine! These are and have been my preference for years. I'm pretty consistent in similar type purchases as well.

I seldom, if ever, change brands of anything for that matter. Whether it be laundry detergent, dish soap, bleach or any of the other number of household cleaning products one is forced to buy throughout the year. Don't ask me why, I'm just a stickler to such things. It makes it easier to remember when I do have to buy these items. If I were smart, I would be looking for more Green Friendly products and perhaps I will, one day. But the bottom line here is, why do I, or shall I say we, get into such habits? For me, at least, it took years of product experimentation. I kept turning over products of all kinds until I found the ones that actually delivered what they said they would. Not an easy task I dare say. With all of the advertisements on television, magazines and stores it's enough to make you go berserk while standing in front of aisles of various products trying to recall who promised what.

After awhile, I began to settle on those products that not only offered consistency but delivered on them as well. One of the things that also impressed me was that the prices were pretty stable as well. No doubt to all of the competition out there. And today, with the way things are, we are all trying to get the best bang for our buck. This works out in many other areas as well. When I was younger, I bought things that I could afford only to find that I had to replace them a lot quicker. Over time, I would pick and choose certain brand items that would wash better and wear longer. I would rather spend a premium dollar now knowing that my purchases would last a little bit longer. And now, with the increased influx of cheaper product coming in from various overseas countries (how's that for political correctness), all we are doing is ensuring our landfill sites will be in business for years to come.

Think about this for a moment. How many young adults out there are getting ready to spread their wings and start life out there on their own? How many are going off to university or college? Not all are going to leave home fully equipped with all of the necessary appliances and such to set up home. So, it's off to the nearest low cost store to buy what will work for the time being. But of course, they buy what they can afford which will last less than the price tag they pay for it. Then that goes out to the dump and another replaces the old. This gets repeated over and over again. All you need to do to see proof is to swing buy any universities student housing during semester turnovers and witness the piles of junk on the front lawns waiting to be carted to the dump. The sad thing is, there is another group right there ready to take their place and on it goes.

Half of the stuff you see in stores now is made mostly out of plastic, cheap steel and inferior electronics. These products require very little in the way of advertising and marketing because the big box stores already know who they are catering to. And once the sale is made, they also know that it is only a matter of time before the customer comes back to replace it. People have come to accept this as a necessary evil to living in todays world. In a way, who can blame them especially if they are sending more than one child off to university. Nowadays you really have to look at the small print on the packaging to find out where a product is actually made. Sometimes it says, packaged in Canada or the US but it is made or assembled elsewhere. What kind of crap is that? Before I buy anything now, I want to know more about the guts of the product. I don't want to find out later that I have to send it to Timbuktu for replacement parts. Quality, it seems, is only a word on a Mission Statement and becoming harder to find than Waldo. That is why when I find a product I am happy with, it means the company has proven it's worth and commitment to me, the consumer. When we find something that works, I think it's best that we should just stick to it. We, as a society, often times spend money freely but not always wisely. I think we should reverse that and start spending it wisely and not so freely.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Holding Tight

Holding Tight

Holding on

too tightly

to things that


should let go of



yesterdays passions


broken promises


that if I do


of things that were


will follow


hopelessly lost

in the dark shadows

of things

that never were.

by G. De Rouin
(aka: Bogey)
July 02, 2009 ©